Functional Nutrition Blog

Are Toxins Making You Fat?

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Jul 14, 2011 6:00:00 AM

toxins make you fat

It's no secret that our environment is toxic. Nuclear waste, chemical pesticides, oil spills and acid rain are hardly "news", but more like "olds." Toxins are everywhere. It is estimated that almost 80 billion pounds of toxins are released into the environment every year.

The Environmental Working Group, a consumer watchdog organization, has published several studies documenting the presence of toxins in the bodies of seemingly healthy families, even newborn babies, all over America.  These toxins end up in our water, ground, food and eventually into our tissues and cells. We are a toxic society.

But what do these toxins do in our body? There is plenty of evidence that these toxins affect our hormones, our nervous systems and ultimately our health. Edward Bauman, Ph.D., of Bauman College explains in his curriculum and in his many public appearances that these toxins are making us fat. As toxins in our environment increase, so too is our rates of obesity and other health issues. Is this a conclusive correlation? It's definitely worth consideration and further study.

In nutrition school you quickly learn that toxins tend to be stored in the adipose (fat) tissue of the body. This is one of the main reasons it is not recommended to eat animal fats from animals that have been raised in a toxic environments or have been injected with harmones and other chemicals. This, of course, is less true of the humanely grown free-roaming animals.

It is strongly believed that environmental toxins damage the sympathetic nervous system and our delicate hormonal feedback loops that help us control our weight (Bauman, 2008). Hormones fed to livestock and other commercial meats to make them grow will also cause weight gain when consumed by humans.  It's no wonder peole have so much trouble losing weight! It's definitely an uphill battle.  There is a common belief that if you just reduce your calorie intake (food) and increase calorie use (exercise) that you will lose weight. Well I believe this assumption is becoming obsolete.  There's more to the obesity issue than just calories in, calories out.

toxic food

4 Groups of Toxins

Toxins in the environment include such categories as:

  • Heavy metals like mercury, lead and aluminum
  • Xenobiotics like dioxin, formaldehyde and insecticides
  • Biotoxins like tetanus, botulinum toxin and fungal toxins
  • Food preservatives like aspartame, MSG and fluoride


Nobody is immune to toxicity. As we previously mentioned, toxins are everywhere.  Weight gain and obesity are not the only symptoms.  


Some Symptoms of Toxicity


Excessive mucous

Nausea or vomiting

Metallic taste in mouth  


Poor concentration

Brain fog

Gas, bloating

Ringing in ears

Circle under the eyes


Skin rashes



Strong body odor/bad breath

Digestive problems

Joint and muscle aches  

Weight gain and obesity

There are many health issues like obesity that are believe to be related to toxicity. These include arthritis, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, leaky gut, chemical sensitivities and autoimmune conditioins in general. But what can one do about it?

Of utmost importance, of course, is removing as many environmental toxins from your life as is possible. There are many toxins we do have control over, like the cleaners and chemicals around the home. Personal products are common culprits for sneaking in toxins through our skin. A whole foods, organic diet will not only eliminate many of those environmental toxins, but the nutrients inherant in those foods will support the body's own detoxification pathways and help to remove them.

A gentle detoxification program that may use supportive products is also very helpful in assisting the liver and other detox organs in eliminating toxins. I recommend detoxing at least once or twice a year. I like to detox in the spring after a cold long winter, and in the fall, just before entering the cold dark winter.

Primo Health Coach uses the proven successful detoxification program called Detox 360. Here's your chance to have a FREE 15 minute Detox Consultation to see if Detox 360 is the program for you!

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Topics: weight management, detoxification